New Delhi, April 25: Cracking the whip, Congress today suspended Suresh Kalmadi hours after the controversial party MP was arrested by CBI in connection with irregularities in the Commonwealth Games projects.
The axe fell on the 67-year old Lok Sabha member from Pune with the party's Disciplinary Action Committee (DAC) headed by senior leader A K Antony deciding his suspension.
“The DAC of the party has suspended Suresh Kalmadi,” party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, indicating thereby that the leadership swung into pro-active mode to limit the damage after Kalmadi's arrest.
Kalmadi is the first Congress MP to face suspension since the UPA-II government came to power in May 2009. Rebel member Y S Jaganmohan Reddy was served a showcause notice for anti-party activities after which the former Kadapa MP from Andhra Pradesh had himself resigned.
CBI arrested the sacked CWG Organising Committee Chairman for allegedly conspiring to award illegal contracts to a Swiss firm for Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the Games which caused a loss of Rs 95 crore to the exchequer.
Kalmadi was removed as Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) Secretary last year after corruption controversies hit the preparation for the Games being held by the Organising Committee (OC) headed by him. After the Games, the government sacked him as chief of the OC.
Soon after his arrest today, party spokesperson Manish Tewari clearly indicated that Kalmadi was in for more trouble saying, “Let there be no ambiguity...at an appropriate time, appropriate, demonstrable and visible action will be taken.”
Meanwhile the woes of Kalmadi only seemed to have grown following his arrest with pressure mounting on the Indian Olympic Association to elect a new president in his place.
The Sports Ministry wants the IOA to elect a new president as it feels that a person who has been arrested or chargesheeted should not head any organisation.
“The person who is in jail or who has been chargesheeted, it would not be in the national interest that he should represent the country anymore. As soon as official confirmation of his arrest comes, we are going to request the IOA to elect someone,” Sports Minister Ajay Maken said. PTI